In villages across the world, the problems of early childhood development, specifically in the areas of dexterity/coordination as well as language development focused on the written word is very common due to a lack of parent involvement and toys that encourage learning in a fun and enticing manner to children. The main aims of the Village Wordplay project are to encourage spelling and learning with hands-on style materials for children ages 3 through primary school. The hands-on materials used to accomplish is goal are alphabet blocks (using the alphabet of the language and correct letter ratios) made by local people using locally available materials, making this is an income generating project for captenters and painters as well
Village will be a success for several reasons. This idea will involve community members which will ensure it's sustainability. I have already implemented this project in 40 villages across Tanzania and the response has been tremendous and positive. Once one set of blocks is supplied to a village, many more sets can be produced at the local level. The blocks are very inexpensive. Each set includes 20 blocks, including the numbers 1-10, +, -, and = to practice mathematics. The blocks are made of wood which ensures their longevity. This project contributes to building capacity in skills in several ways. First, village and primary school children will be intellectually stimulated, creating a sense that learning is fun, and intriguing an interest in going to or continuing school. These acquired skills of mathematics and spelling will then help them throughout their lives in whatever they choose to do.
Two children, ages 5 and 3 playing and learning with the blocks in Kigwe, Dodoma, Tanzania